Louisiana readers know that commercial truck drivers play an important role in the American economy. They transport goods across the country, and every single industry relies on commercial trucking in some capacity, whether it's delivery of goods, shipment of supplies or other works. Due to the nature of the trucking industry, it is possible that truck drivers could be doing their critical jobs while too tired to drive safely.
Truckers often receive payment per delivered load, which means they are motivated to deliver goods as quickly as possible. This may lead to the temptation to drive too long, ultimately resulting in a trucker affected by extreme exhaustion. When a truck driver is tired, it greatly increases the chance of an accident.
Sleep-related trucking regulations
Authorities recognize the impact that exhaustion can have on a person's ability to safely operate a large and heavy semi trailer. This is why there are strict laws and regulations in place that govern how long and how often a person can drive a truck. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, regulations for trucks carrying property and goods, not passengers, include:
- After spending at least 10 hours off duty, a truck driver can then drive 11 hours maximum.
- After 10 consecutive hours off duty, a driver cannot be on the road past 14 consecutive hours.
- A driver cannot operate a truck longer than 60 or 70 hours in a seven or eight day period.
These are just some of the rules in place designed to protect the interests of truck drivers, as well as the motorists that share the road with them. When truckers are overly tired, they are more prone to cause accidents that are otherwise preventable. Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents involving these vehicles can be quite severe.
What caused your truck accident?
Truck accidents can happen for many reasons, but you have the right to explore your legal options if you are the victim of negligent or reckless driving. It is possible a trucker was tired, distracted or acting recklessly, resulting in the collision that left you injured.
If you are the victim of a truck accident, you would be wise to take quick action to seek an assessment of your rights and an explanation of the legal options available to you. Accidents caused by tired truck drivers could be grounds to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.